2010 NHL Playoffs: 25 Bold Predictions Accuracy Review Post-Round One
On April 13, I posted "2010 NHL Playoffs: 25 Bold Predictions for the Playoffs" to look into my crystal ball and see how the 2010 NHL playoffs might progress.
I'm not above being held accountable for my predictions, as bold or wild as they might be. So in an effort to see how close to reality/full of it I am, let's take a look back at my 25 Bold Predictions, more than two weeks laters, and see how I did.
1. Playoff Beards Aren't Guaranteed
I mentioned a number of babies in the playoffs, specifically Calder Trophy candidate Matt Duchene of Colorado and Norris Trophy Finalist Drew Dought of Los Angeles, and joked that they might struggle to grow the requisite facial hair expected from hockey players this time of year.
Never fear. Doughty and Duchene were both eliminated in round one, so they didn't have enough time to scratch their pillows.
And for the record, Patrick Kane has a gorgeous mullet.
2. A First Round Game Will Go Over Three OTs
Close... Game Five between the Penguins and Senators went to three overtimes before finally being decided.
Considering how close the play was in the first round, thinking a game could go longer than three isn't out of the question.
3. The Coyotes Will Take The Red Wings to Seven Games
4. Evgeni Nabokov Won't Flop In Round One
It wasn't easy, and took six games, but San Jose is (finally) in the second round.
5. Mike Milbury Will Embarass Himself
He spoke in public, didn't he?
6. Montreal Will Start More than One Goalie
Yes, the Habs did start both goalies in the series, and they almost regretted it.
But Jaroslav Halak had perhaps the best playoff series of the past 20 years in shutting down the high-octane Capitals offense and Montreal stunned the hockey world by knocking out the top seed.
7. Colorado Will Be In the Market for a Goalie
WRONG. Anderson was exhausted when it ended, but he played one heck of a series despite losing to the Sharks in six.
Avalanche fans should be comfortable with their netminder.
8. Sidney Crosby Will Not Lead Pittsburgh in Scoring
This prediction was for the entire playoffs, so it's still technically to be determined.
However, Crosby led the entire first round with 14 points and his five goals are just two off the lead for the postseason as well roll into round two.
9. Alex Ovechkin Will Not Lead Washington in Scoring
Well, he tied. Nicklas Backstrom tied Ovechkin both with five goals and nine points in the Caps first round loss to Montreal.
10. The Best Playoff Series Will Be Flyers-Devils
The Montreal-Washington series was incredible to watch Halak do his thing between the pipes.
The Phoenix-Detroit series was great theater to see the upstart Coyotes challenge the veteran Red Wings.
The Chicago-Nashville series featured one of the most overwhelming, and least likely, endings in the history of the game.
So we're going to say wrong on this one. Surprisingly, the Flyers handled their business against the second seed Devils fairly easily.
11. Brian Campbell Will Return for Round Two
In fact, Campbell returned for Game Four of the first round series, and the Blackhawks haven't lost since.
And, in a stroke of poetic justice, Campbell will be healthy and active on the ice in the second round, and Alex Ovechkin will be at home watching on television.
12. Jimmy Howard is NOT the Next Cam Ward
He's been good at times and struggled at times, but the most important thing at this time of year is that he survived.
Tuukka Rask and Antti Niemi are a couple other rookies that are still alive and are worth watching as well.
13. The Penguins Will Eliminate the Capitals. Again.
They won't get the chance.
14. Andrew Ladd and Ryan Kesler Will Fight
The bell will ring at 8:00 PM EST on Saturday night, when the Blackhawks host the Canucks.
15. Neither Conference Finals Will Include Canada
Two of the three Canadian-based teams (Montreal and Vancouver) are still alive.
This remains TBD.
16. The Calder Runner-Up Will go Further Than the Winner
I said Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres would be your Calder Trophy runner-up, and that Detroit's Howard would be the winner.
However, if Howard is the runner-up, my vague title could still hold form.
We'll call this TBD, despite the Sabres falling in round one. Thank you, postseason award voting!
17. Pittsburgh Will Not Repeat
They are the highest seed remaining in the wild, wild East, though.
18. The Best Celebrity Sighting Will Be...
I said Vince Vaughn, and I'm going to hold on to that because he made the trip to Nashville and represented Chicago by being committed to the Indian in Tennessee.
19. A Number One Seed Will Not Win The Cup
I'm 50 percent of the way there, with Washington throwing me the Epic Fail bone in round one.
And, with San Jose playing Detroit in Round Two, they have their work cut out for them.
20. An Olympic Goalie Will Not Win the Cup
Marc-Andre Fleury - Pittsburgh - ALIVE
Jaroslav Halak - Montreal - ALIVE
Martin Brodeur - New Jersey - GONE
Roberto Luongo - Vancouver - ALIVE
Evgeni Nabokov - San Jose - ALIVE
Ilya Bryzgalov - Phoenix - GONE
Tim Thomas - Boston - ALIVE
Ryan Miller - Buffalo - GONE
Three of nine Olympic netminders were run in Round One.
21. Fans Will Continue to Hate Pierre McGuire
Am I wrong?
22. An Olympian Will Win the Conn Smythe
Still a lot of good Olympians playing well in the playoffs. Halak, Crosby, Malkin, the Sedins, Patrick Kane, Dany Heatley and Jonathan Toews come to mind as potential candidates.
23. An Original Six Team Will Win the Cup
Detroit, Boston, Chicago and Montreal started the first round with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Detroit, Boston, Chicago and Montreal are all still alive.
Of the eight remaining teams, half of them are from the Original Six. I like my odds.
24. The Blackhawks Will Beat the Sabres in the Finals
Much like my prediction that Pittsburgh would eliminate Washington, the Blackhawks won't get a chance to make this prediction correct.
25. More Than 20 of These Predictions Will Be Correct
It's going to be tough for me to capture 20 of my 25 predictions. I already have the following predictions wrong:
Colorado will be in the market for a goalie.
Alex Ovechkin will not lead the Caps in scoring.
The best playoff series will be NJ-PHI.
The Pens will eliminate the Caps again.
The Blackhawks will beat the Sabres in the Finals.
I am going to have to run the table to accomplish this one. Bold? Perhaps...
We'll see! Here comes Round Two!